Santorini board game
Santorini board game

Santorini

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Overall Rank: #21 | Trending Rank: #119

Welcome to the world of Santorini, a fantastic reimagining of the classic abstract game from 2004. Players are given a sandbox in which to play as gods, moving their workers around the board to build up a beautiful, multi-tiered city. Do you have what it takes to outsmart your opponents? Find out, in Santorini!

Build it Up! 

Turns in Santorini are made up of two simple step: Move and Build. Move around the board and build a building in a spot adjacent to one of your workers. The first player to move their worker from a second level building to a third level building wins the game! Though, there are a few things that add a wrinkle to the basic formula.

Invoke the Power of the gods!
Each player will have access to a god power which lets them do things a little differently than normal. Be it changing the rules for how you can build or move, changing how you interact with other players, or providing you with an alternate victory condition, the 30 different god powers are sure to make every game of Santorini different and exciting!



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User Ratings & Reviews

  • Very fun, even at four player. Short and sweet. Even better at 2 player. Exactly the kind of game I like. Not brain melting, it’s straightforward fun but surprisingly deep. The kind of depth that you could play forever and still not have found out all the subtleties. Looks great, plays great. One of my favorites and a game that will stay in my collection forever.
  • Wunderbar. Fairly dry abstract, but the theme brings it to life.
  • one of the best fast abstract strategy games that really works with the theme. fast and elegant and the production value is high and the power cards adds challenge to watch out other than the level building.
  • This is a modern classic of the abstract genre in my opinion. Starts quickly and then ramps nicely to where some tricky bits of thinking are needed.
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had the best type of gaming this weekend: unexpected! Family stopped by and we played some games

  • #Codenames: Duet - still haven't won, it's so difficult
  • #Tiny Towns - Still having fun with this game, haven't even considered buying the expansions.
  • #For Sale - Still debating on the Kickstarter for this. It's one of the games I play the most that I down own
  • #The Agents - Finally got this to the table, not bad, need a few more plays
  • #Blurt!
  • #Dragon's Gold

 

and I wached the kids play:

Slow week, then a big weekend!

  • #Fort @ 2p on TTS. This was our second time playing, so we were more familiar with the game. We were able to play more quickly, and we both scored better than in our first game. I ended up winning by a narrow margin (2 or 3 points)
  • #Root @ 4p - last time I played this and talked about it with my wife, she expressed interest in trying it out, so I set up a game with my friend who owns it and his girlfriend. With 2 first-timers, the level of play wasn't super high, but I think the ladies did alright for their first games. My wife played the cats, and afterward she said she really didn't know what was going on most of the time and would need to get more familiar with the game to be able to tell if she likes it.
  • #Santorini 3x @ 2p - played with my buddy who loves the game as much as I do. I took 2 of 3. Played twice with regular god powers from the base game, and once with the hero powers from the #Santorini: Golden Fleece expansion.
  • #Sentient @ 2p - finally got to play this with someone! We both really enjoyed it. This is a puzzley game - kinda relaxing to me. We both had fun even helping each other out lol.
  • #Wingspan @ 4p - got to introduce my brother in law to this game and he SMOKED US. He got two birds with the "move to another habitat" ability and was just able to max out his turns almost every time toward the end of the game lol. It was pretty cool TBH. I came in dead last.
  • #Oceans @ 4p - I kind of wiped the floor with my friends (and my wife). I hope I didn't turn them off to the game lol. I set up a big old filter feeder with a whale cleaner, and both had traits to speed up the aging, so in the 2nd half of the game, I was scoring 11 points each turn. They didn't do enough to stop me, and no one ever caught up.

Also if you're interested in chess-ish abstract games, I suggest #Santorini to pretty much everyone. It's affordable (you can probably get it for $20), it's nice to look at, and it's super easy to learn, but offers very satisfying strategic gameplay and tons of replayability. One of my top 5 games.

Much lighter week this time:

  • #Santorini - my wife agreed to play with me despite not having the best first impression of the game. She said she liked it better this time, so hopefully she'll learn to appreciate it as much as I do!
  • #Mystic Market - we had another couple over and they brought this. The game is okay in my eyes. My friend seems to love it though, and it's short, so I don't mind playing it.
  • #War Chest - played the bloodiest game of this to date! The majority of the chips were eliminated by the time the game was over. As a result, this was also the longest game I've played to date! Probably around 45 minutes. Usually they take about 20-30

Wow, nice varied list! Here'smine:

  • #Everdell - I think this is my favorite game to play with my wife. We've played a bunch of times, so no one has to learn the rules or anything, it's charming and non-confrontational, and just overall a comfort game for us.
  • #Kingdomino - so easy to teach, and anyone can play. Usually end up playing twice.
  • #Santorini - again, ridiculously easy to teach. Top 5 game for me. My wife isn't as big a fan, so it hasn't gotten as many plays since quarantine. :(
  • #Wingspan - I like this game, but it seems like all my friends love it. For that reason, it's super easy to get to the table. When I play with just my wife, it plays very quickly, which is cool.

I share your appreciation for abstract games and have the same problem of not having the right group (or person) to play them with. First off, here are the abstracts I've played (I think I got them all??): Chess, Go, Janggi (Korean variation of Chinese chess), Santorini, Hive, Azul, Chinese Checkers, Onitama, and I guess I should include Tiny Towns here since most people seem to call it an abstract.

It's hard to order them because they serve a different purpose, but I'll try. This list assumes that I'm playing with a competitive opponent who's either my equal or better:

  1. #Chess - It's a classic and never gets old for me.
  2. #Santorini - Expanding the world of tic-tac-toe with fun powers! If I didn't consider the god powers, this would drop several positions.
  3. #Hive - You get to play with chunky tiles and the idea of the different bugs' movement patterns is brilliant.
  4. #Azul - Satisfying pattern building and you get to play with great tiles. I just don't enjoy it as much if I feel like I have to make sub-optimal moves so that I'm not being mean to a beginner.
  5. #Tiny Towns - Deceptively deep and difficult, fun spatial management, and surprisingly brain burning... Tiny Towns has a lot to offer but isn't one that I find the most relaxing.

Why Go didn't make the cut:

I considered placing this at #2 but ultimately didn't. I have fond memories of playing this a bunch of times throughout my elementary school days and even attending lessons, but it's not one that I'd gravitate toward at this stage in life. Even though it has deep tactical elements (probably the deepest game out of all games mentioned here) and zen-like appearance, the game also presents you with constant moments of tension and one bad placement can have devastating consequences. I think I now just want something a little less involved metally/emotionally.

Abstracts I'd love to try the most:

  1. #War Chest
  2. #Shobu

I'm gonna have to agree with this. The bar is rising, and while there is still room for lackluster themes, it's gotta do it better than before if it wants to succeed. 

Not including abstract games, of course, because those are all about the mechanic (although #Santorini does a good job making the theme appealing to the game's abstractness).